Sheila’s call for help unheard for a month

Shelia Ainge (77) was left without a phone line or internet for almost a month. Picture: Marcelo Palacios d415397
Shelia Ainge (77) was left without a phone line or internet for almost a month. Picture: Marcelo Palacios d415397

While Mrs Ainge was away in Sydney with her son, who had just lost his wife to cancer, a fallen tree branch brought down a Telstra cable connecting her phone and internet.

Her neighbour phoned Telstra to report the fault.

Mrs Ainge returned home the next day, still without a connection, and in an unlucky turn of events fell over and dislocated her shoulder.

‘I was in a bit of a predicament,’ she said.

‘The young man who was collecting my mail while I was gone just so happened to be there when I fell as he had come to deliver my mail to me.

‘I don’t know what I would have done otherwise.

‘I had no phone connection and my mobile phone only gets reception when I’m outside in certain areas of the garden.’

A Telstra technician came out a few days later to look at the fault, only to discover the pole the cable was attached to was too high to reach.

A few days later another technician came out and found the same problem.

Mrs Ainge was told technicians in the Roleystone area did not have extension ladders long enough to reach the pole.

About two weeks ago, a technician called into Mrs Ainge’s home and told her Rockingham was the only crew with a cherry picker and the Roleystone technicians would have to wait until they had finished with it before the cable could be repaired.

‘I think it is disgusting that a company like Telstra can allow someone in my situation to be without a telephone and internet connection for such a long time,’ she said.

The Comment News phoned Telstra last Tuesday (February 18) and Mrs Ainge’s cable was repaired the next day.

Previously they had told her she would have to wait until Friday.

A spokesman for Telstra said the delay was caused because Telstra technicians were busy trying to restore services for customers in Stoneville and Parkerville after damage caused by fires in early January.

‘The repairs to both these locations required specialist technicians who are qualified to repair aerial cables, but in this case the specialist aerial work had to be completed first in Stoneville and Parkerville because the work was already well underway,’ he said.